On the Bike


Yesterday (Saturday) was a no-post day because of excessive bicycle-related preoccupations. I did the Davis Bike Club’s 200-kilometer brevet. For those uninitiated or uninterested in the argot of randonneuring — and I imagine that’s about 100 percent of non-randonneurs — what that means is I got on my bike at 7 a.m. in Davis to ride 62.5 miles or so out to a little Grange Hall out in the middle of what passes for nowhere in California, then turned around and rode 62.5 miles or so back. Beyond all the great scenery and Spandex you get to see, one of the reasons people go out and do this is to qualify for one of the 1,200-kilometer (750-mile), 90-hour rides (randonnee) held around the world as a test of cycling toughness, fatigue tolerance, and overall ability to outlast your sore ass. (Plus, you get nifty medals, like the one here, for a reasonable price after you climb off your bike at the end).

The ride went tolerably well for someone who had not ridden 100 miles in a day since last August. I went out a little too hard the first few miles — mostly because I just get swept along in the excitement of riding in a big group. I felt slightly queasy and found it hard to eat for a good part of the ride. There was something of a headwind coming back into Davis — not a killer, just a good consistent breeze from the north and east that made us work a little. And I lost my brevet card, the little passport you carry to check in at various spots along the way to prove you did the ride; I’m hoping I won’t be disqualified for that. But otherwise, the day was perfect — we went from gray, rainy, cool winter to spectacularly clear and warm spring overnight.

After the ride was over, I got a burger, drove back to Berkeley to pick up Kate, then went up to Napa to stay with our friend Pete. We were there to stay with his son Niko while he got up well before dawn to run the Napa Valley Marathon. He did well — running it in about 3 hours and 41 minutes and finishing in the 80th percentile of all runners. Then — the most impressive feat of all — he came back home and grilled up a midday repast for his visitors.

One Reply to “On the Bike”

  1. The more I think about it, the crazier it seems that you did that ride and then busted your ass to get up here just a few hours later. What’s it say on the back of that Knight’s Valley Merlot? Something about Dan always being there. ‘Tis true.

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